Fayette County News

Fayette County


Athletic trainers a key component of on-field success

Daniel McAdams (black shirt) tends to an injured player. McAdams is the Regional Athletic Training Coordinator with Drayer Physical Therapy who works with McIntosh High School, Sandy Creek, Starr’s Mill, and Whitewater. (Special Photo)

An unfortunate necessity in sports where bumps and bruises and breaks are unavoidable, athletic trainers can be as vital a part of a team as a quarterback or a point guard or a pitcher. When an injury occurs, athletic trainers, or ATs, make sure the athlete is treated properly and gets back to playing shape at the right time and in the right condition.
Daniel McAdams, MS, ATC, is the Regional Athletic Training Coordinator with Drayer Physical Therapy and a familiar face on the sidelines, regardless of the school or sport. Drayer is in most of the local high schools working with McIntosh, Sandy Creek, Starr’s Mill, and Whitewater, so their ATs are the ones in charge of making sure our local athletes get back to full strength as quickly as possible.
“We’re just there and prepared to take as good a care of that athlete as possible and get them that immediate care, and to know whether or not they need follow-up care,” says McAdams. “Hopefully, by the time they leave the field or gym, they already have a pretty good understanding of what exactly their injury looks like, and how long it’s going to take to get better.”
Athletic Training is a field that is exploding in popularity, and McAdams has seen it at the high school level. At McIntosh, there have been so many requests to shadow their AT that some had to be turned away.
For many ATs, the career is a way to stay involved in sports that they love. It could even be a door that opened because of their own injury.
“Most athletic trainers are former athletes who had an injury, and they’re introduced to athletic training through the injury and rehab process,” says McAdams. “It’s a way to stay involved with athletics. You’re still around youth, and you’re working with kids each day, so it helps you stay young as well.”
McAdams himself was introduced to the profession that same way.
“My scenario was I was playing college soccer and had an injury, so I was introduced to an athletic trainer,” he remembers. “I rehabbed for a couple weeks, and I realized there was a profession there that I didn’t know anything about and jumped into it.”
Prepared for any situation, ATs still prepare for a boring night. No action means the players stayed healthy.
“We don’t spill water on the floor and hope somebody trips on it,” McAdams jokes. “The best night for us is where we get to sit and watch a game without having to do a thing.”
An Athletic Trainer is likely someone most players hope to not get too familiar with. They would rather stay healthy and in peak condition, but injuries are just a reality of sports. When that happens, ATs like McAdams are ready to get them back in the game.

By Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.